BY DOMINIQUE DEL GROSSO
The tried and true job search drill goes something like: research the company and position, contact the employer, apply and then wait for sometimes little to no feedback. In the job market today, all we hear and talk about is how tough, competitive and brutal it is out there. Finding the dream job seems impossible. It’s easy to get bogged down and feel stuck, discouraged and frustrated.
However, what if a change in attitude and perspective could make all the difference? Perhaps cliché, employing a keyed-in, positive attitude can change the way you see your current job and future career opportunities.
Snagging your dream job or the next step on the road to it doesn’t have to feel unattainable. Christine Gust of Longmont is the owner of her own business that helps professionals clarify their career paths and pinpoint their professional purpose. With seasoned classes and workshops, Gust provides tips and new ways of thinking about the job market and how to help people see opportunity by clarifying personal strengths, ambitions, goals and most importantly, their mindset.
“People have to stop believing that it’s a tough job market. People buy into the belief that there aren’t enough jobs, they can’t make enough money or it’s too competitive, etc.,” she says. “If people believe it’s hard, then it’s not possible. Thinking this way shuts down their motivation.”
OK, a change in attitude and perspective is necessary, but how do you make that happen? First, Gust suggests: “Focus on the feeling.” By feeling, she means how you want to feel in a job and about the work you do? Being resolution-oriented in this way instead of focusing on the problems will make a major difference in your attitude and mindset.
You can do this self-analysis and dig deeper by asking these types of questions:
• What job will fit my talents, skills and strengths?
• What would it take to change my situation?
• What am I not doing that I could do to make professional opportunities available?
• How do I get in touch with a specific hiring manager in the company for which I want to work?
Shifting the focus from how difficult the job market feels to the feelings you want to have in a job can help you to see other professional opportunities that you may not have otherwise. If you focus on the feeling, for example, “I want to feel that I’m making a contribution, I want to feel good about the work I produce and I want financial security, etc.,” then the objective isn’t to land a specific job, narrowing the possibilities, the focus is broader, dynamic and reenergized in a positive way.
In addition to adjusting your mindset, being creative about stress-management or ways to give back to the community can help your job attitude. Brian Dooley, office manager at Express Employment Professionals in Aurora and author of “Landing Your Dream Job, Real Secrets From a Headhunter,” says making an effort to focus your energy in and outside of the office is a key to professional happiness.
“I encourage my own employees to volunteer or participate with nonprofit agencies. We’ve found that when we make an honest effort to help others and give back to the community, it helps to reframe our own frustrations and put them in perspective. Besides, you never know what doors might open when you diversify yourself,” he says.
Now that you have applied, you are invited to interview for a new position. There are a few questions you need to ask the interviewer beyond the basics. Gust suggests:
• Why are you hiring for this position?
• What is this company’s biggest problem?
• How do you see this position helping to solve that problem?
Gust says that once you know these answers, you can explore whether the feelings you want from a job align with the needs of a company. In doing so, she says you must determine two things:
1. Is this a problem I care about?
2. How do I help the company solve this problem?
Because all companies are looking for the new hire to help run a successful business, identifying what strengths you bring to the position is essential in both party’s success. “Most companies are looking for employees that will grow and enhance the business, not just the dollar. By clearly identifying within ourselves what our core contributions are and how an applicant plans to contribute, can make or break an interview,” Dooley says.
Although we have little control over what job opportunities come available or whether we’re offered an interview, we can control the ways in which we approach the job search, our mindset and how we feel about the job we do have. Shifting focus from negative, frustrated and bummed to positive and in control will be obvious to co-workers, hiring managers and future employers, making you a competitive candidate and asset for future career pursuits.
Landing Your Dream Job, Real Secrets From a Headhunter by Brian Dooley can be found at: www.lulu.com/shop/brian-dooley/landing-your-dream-job/ebook/product-17410541.html.